Behold an open door · Courageous movie · James Ouma · James Ouma writes · Kendrick Brothers · men of influence · Mentoring boys in Kenya · PMI Woodley · risk management · Running for My Life · Sermons from CITAM Woodley Church · Shompole Wildlife Marathon · social justice · Stories · The gift of blindness · the heart of every man · War Room Movie · Writing by James Ouma

The Kendrick Brothers & I

courageous

Hearing the Voice of God

I used to want to hear from God. It all began when I heard Bob Marley sing,

David slew Goliath with a sling and a stone;
Samson slew the Philistines with a donkey jawbone

Well, I am yet to hear from Him, at a very personal level. And that doesn’t mean He hasn’t spoken too. I keep hearing Him through the Kendrick Brothers. I remember the very first time it happened. I had just arrived in church for the 12 pm service at CITAM Woodley. And since I had just resumed attending church service after a long lay off, I wasn’t expecting much. Besides, God was yet to speak to me.

I was still working as a TV producer then. My work involved a lot of interactions with children who were growing up without a father. This being so, I found myself talking to them and challenging boys, specifically, to strive for much more than just passing by. I felt deep in my heart that I needed to mentor boys. But I kept pushing it to one week, hoping to hear God’s confirmation.

To me, Sunday was going to be like any other day for me. After service, I was going to conduct a reading and mentoring session for a group of children at Car Wash Kwa Ng’ang’a. That Sunday wasn’t going to be like any other day.

The Pacesetting Men of Influence (PMI), men’s ministry, ran a short video clip from the movie Courageous during the announcements. When Adam Mitchell made this speech, it was like he was speaking directly to me:

A father should love his children and seek to win their hearts. He should protect them, discipline them and teach them about God. He should model how to walk with integrity and treat others with respect and should call out his children to become responsible men and women who live their lives for what matters in eternity.

there are some men who, regardless of the mistakes we’ve made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did not do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same, and, whenever possible, to love and mentor others who have no father in their lives but who desperately need help and direction…”

A Call to Action

Even before Adam Mitchell asked men to join him in answering to the call he had made, I had already made up my mind. A few months later, in July 2012 to be precise, I met and started mentoring 100 boys in juvenile prison. My work involved meeting them, tracing their parents and the people they had wronged for purposes of initiating reconciliation. I also started looking for slippers, toilet papers and underwear for those who didn’t have. Some of the boys gave their lives to Christ and most of them abandoned crime and have never been arrested again.

In January 2013, I quit my job to focus on growing Lifesong Kenya, an organization I had started to mentor boys in juvenile prison. My decision to quit was largely influenced by my hope, belief and faith that I was going to earn an income through working as an online writer. I figured that writing would give me the freedom I needed to mentor boys as opposed to a 9-5 job. My mind and heart was finally at peace. I was experiencing untold joy and satisfaction from mentoring boys in juvenile prison. What I never figured out was how difficult it was going to be.

Though I am yet to earn a stable income from my writing I have seen God in my life. I have been working, for the past three years with children and young people in juvenile prison, rehab and informal schools without a source of income. That is grace from God. We have also started getting partners and volunteers who have shown interest to work with Lifesong Kenya. We are getting donations of books, clothes, buttons and support from all over the world. I have been using sewing thread, needles, buttons and the Word of God to sustain the activities of Lifesong Kenya. As a result, I am also known as Jim Buttons, and because of this, I am writing a book about it because the things that God is doing in my life are worth writing about. Who knows, we might even make a movie out of this.

I hope the Kendrick Brothers are listening!

I know Lifesong Kenya will do a lot when we finally get the funding we need. But I am happy with the resources God is bringing my way. I am also happy He has given me hope for the future. Above all else, I am blessed to have met the Kendrick Brothers. I have just finished watching War Room, their latest movie. It is the second time I am doing this. I keep finding inspiration from watching the Kendrick Brothers movies. God keeps speaking to me through that.

Oh, one last thing, I have cleaned out my closet, not as Eminem would have me do, but the way God has purposed it. If you are a man and you are reading this, I encourage you to get to know the Kendrick Brothers and the Lord Jesus Christ. Your life will never be the same again, I kid you not!

#themakingofJimButtons #LifesongKenya

AdamDylanfloorTS

“As a father, you are accountable to God for the position of influence He has given you. You can’t fall asleep at the wheel only to wake up one day and realize that your job or your hobbies have no eternal value but the souls of your children do.”

Adam Mitchell, Courageous (Movie)

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